Order picking methods are defined in terms of: (a) pickers per order - the number of pickers that work on a single order at one time; (b) lines per pick - the number of orders a single item is picked for at one time; and (c) periods per shift - the frequency of order scheduling during one shift.
Here is an overview of ordering picking methods and the number of picks per man hour:
Type of Picking
Pick / Man-Hour
> Unloading floor-stacked trailers; sort to pallets 120 cartons
> Unload floor-stacked pallet onto takeaway conveyor 640 cartons
> Put away a full pallet into a pallet rack storage position 32 pallets
> Piece pick from carton flow rack into totes (paper pick tickets in use) 184 lines
> Piece pick from carton flow rack (pick-to-light) 260 lines
> Piece pick from horizontal carousels (pod of 3 approx.; light tree used) into totes 300 lines
> Full case picking using forklift; picking from pallet rack floor level onto pallet 29 cases
> Full case picking using man-up order picker truck and picking from all pallet rack levels onto pallets 134 cases
> Full case picking from pallet flow rack onto takeaway powered conveyor (paper pick tickets) 525 cases
> Full case picking from pallet flow rack onto takeaway powered conveyor (voice recognition) 600 lines
> Full pallet picking using counterbalance truck from bulk floor storage 50 pallets
> Full pallet picking using counterbalance truck from pallet rack 65 pallets
> Every operation manager has a high priority to minimize walking.
> Minimize selector walking by:
1) Picking from both sides of the aisle, use small pick facings.
2) Placing slow-moving items on side aisles which are entered only when needed.
3) Picking many smaller orders in one trip (batch picking).